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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thoughts On . . . The Running Dream

The Running Dream

Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Publisher: Random House 
ISBN: 978-0-375-86628-9
Published: January 2012  
genre: teen (friendship, social skills, sports, special needs)
per School Library Journal: Grades 7+
332 pages

format available: hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, audio

author's blog | Twitter


Back of Book:
What would you do if you lost the one thing that mattered most?

Sixteen-year-old Jessica is a runner. It's not just what she does, it's who she is. So when a tragic accident causes her to lose one of her legs, she is shattered--inside and out.

Though the doctors say she'll be able to walk with a prosthetic limb, recovery is slow and full of pitfalls. Jessica wonders if the girl who died in the accident didn't get the better end of the deal. But as she struggles to reclaim her life, Jessica get to know Rosa--a girl with cerebral palsy whom she and her friends had always overlooked. Not only does Rosa come to Jessica's rescue in math, she also help her reach for a future that is full of unexpected opportunities.

And Jessica starts to wonder: Is it possible not only to walk again, but to run?

My Thoughts:
Wow. This is one of those "I laughed, I cried, I wanted to slap someone upside the head" type books.  ;-)

I didn't bother reading the back again before I read the book. Just jumped right in and we're at the hospital after surgery. Jessica is understandable depressed but I've seen Amy dance (Dancing with the Stars) so I'm thinking Jessica needs a small slap/wake up. On the other hand, I don't believe I'd be doing as well.

It's a little "High School Drama" but Jessica is on a high school track team. There is the cute popular boy she likes. The Rival's head games that she finally works around. The girl on the team only because a team sport will look good on a collage application-and the track team doesn't cut.  But this is so much more than a book about a teen who want to run again. It's not about the stares or the mean girls. It's about teamwork, family, and growing up. About friendship and never giving up. She's got family, a terrific best friend, a great coach, and Rosa.

Oh, man. Rosa becomes like a secret weapon.

This is a book about becoming a better person, even if you have help.

Vanessa's mom gets it but I don't know if Vanessa ever will.

edit: You might want to have tissues handy before starting to read. I cried all over my shirt because I didn't want to put the book down.

Disclaimer: This book was from my private library. I'm sure someone posted something to interest me by I do not remember who or where. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and may differ from yours. Book information courtesy of and the book itself. 

copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2016

Thoughts On . . . Prince Noah and the School Pirates

Prince Noah and the School Pirates

Author: Silke Schnee
Illustrator: Heike Sistig
Publisher: Plough Publishing House 
ISBN: 978-0-87486-765-7
Published: August 1, 2016 
genre: Children's Book
32 pages

format available: hardcover

I didn't find any social media for this author (must be too busy with her school!) Bio at the publisher's site: here

Grade: B-

The prince, who starred in the book The Prince Who Was Just Himself, may be a little slower than other students, but he has no less joy in learning. In his kingdom, children go to school on sailing ships. There is a ship for girls and one for boys. There is a ship for children with an eye patch, a ship for children with one leg, and a ship for children who are slower learners. No one knows why there are so many different ships, but it has always been that way.

Then a terrible storm drives the ships into the hands of pirates. The boys and girls realize that they will only escape if everyone does what he or she does best. Through their adventures, they learn that diversity makes us strong and that every person has something to teach us.

My Thoughts:
I liked that it was recognized "Someone who can do so much belongs in school!" I was disappointed that each group was separate, because it had "always been done that way".

"The girls spent their days painting, embroidering, weaving, and knitting." Too bad for the girl who wants to learn Math, because "Math has never been taught to girls".

It didn't really get any better for the boys or the other groups. At least Prince Noah was having fun.

Then along comes the pirates! One of the students said the storm was coming but the adults couldn't see any clouds so they ignored him.

I love that the kids all work together to get free of the pirates, find their teachers, and get home. I really love that the adults learned that just because it has always been done that way doesn't mean there might not be another way.

This book has the same great illustrations as the first and a worthy addition to any school or public library. Or just a home library where they're not afraid of someone who is different.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book without any obligation to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and may differ from yours. Book information courtesy of and the publisher. It is being reviewed as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

RC: Take Back Your Shelves Read-a-Thon

Take Back Your Shelves
Sep 2 - Sep 5

Hosted by JMill Wanders
for more information and/or to sign up, click here


Read books that have been on your shelves too long or your newest to keep it from becoming dusty. No borrowed books allowed.

Oh man, I've got so many print books waiting to be read including several ARCS that have gotten "dusty"!

copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2016

In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Book Dragon's Lair. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for an honest review.